Five retailers set GIA global housewares standards

Five retailers have been named Global Honorees of 2008 in the Global Innovator Award scheme, designed to promote the best in housewares retailing around the world.
Taste of Bowen Hills, Australia won for mastering the art of capturing customer interest via events that draw up to 900 people at a time. Created around seasonal themes and food trends, they combine generous tastings in cooperation with suppliers, demonstrations, prizes and sample bags.

Products range from antique Mediterranean wood-fired pizza ovens and Mauviel copper cookware ranges to gourmet foods and household and kitchen electrics.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepper impressed the judges by transforming all its products into objects of desire. It has carefully-crafted branding and intriguing visual merchandising, effectively differentiating itself from other stores. “It’s vibrant, charming, stylish and bold – which engages potential customers at a single glance,” said one of the judges.

All products are cross-merchandised in every price point to illustrate use and offer cost-effective alternatives.

Housewares take on a whole new character in the merchandise displays at Lafayette Maison in Paris, the city’s second most visited destination after the Louvre. They are organised around creative “worlds” that showcase products in a unique and dramatic way, and shoppers are constantly inspired and invited to dream.

Featuring products in virtually every housewares category, from the most prestigious to the most affordable, displays are constantly changing to maintain an element of surprise. Five daily cooking classes held in the chef’s kitchen in the store’s lower level also regularly tempt customers, with both visual and aromatic cues.

In Mexico City, Casa Palacio delights its guests with sensory indulgence: fountains, curtains that move with the wind and lush green plants mix with the glow from spectacular chandeliers, while ambient music changes with the display area. Different aromas are emitted, and there are tempting food sampling stations.

Customers are invited to freely wander through the store and discover each area. Elaborate settings that change every 20 days, featuring cutlery, tableware and drinkware, are showcased in the Receiving and Sharing room, while high-end brands in the cookware, bakeware, kitchenware and small appliance categories are featured in the Preparing and Tasting area.

Larger displays, which change every three months, have included themes such as Splendor, based on time travel, Balance, based on Zen philosophy, and Urban Eden, a tribal-cosmopolitan style of life with ethno-techno touches.

Finally, the judges picked Schafferer of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany for its modern, uncomplicated approach to merchandising and customer service.

Featuring an intuitive, logical and clear store layout based not on brands but on specific product needs groupings, Schafferer allows customers to help themselves from more than 15,000 products among bakeware, cookware, tabletop and kitchen accessories, small electrics and gourmet foods.

Visually interesting displays featuring clean lines and expert product arrangement that never overwhelm customers are at the foundation of the store’s success, along with regular demonstrations.

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